Searching job sites and polishing your resume are not the only things you should be doing when job hunting. It’s also wise to be active on social media. Social media makes you visible to a world of recruiters, employers, friends, and former colleagues who may just have a job opportunity for you. Unfortunately, many job seekers don’t utilize its full potential.
If you want to concentrate your efforts on one social media platform, let it be LinkedIn – the world’s largest professional online network. Here are a few things you can do today to broaden your reach and build an online presence with this powerful tool:
1. Review your summary (aka, elevator pitch).
Your summary should be compelling and contain a high percentage of keywords relevant to your industry and your goals. Using a conversational, professional tone, tell a story detailing what you’ve accomplished in your career.
2. Connect with your network.
Go through your LinkedIn connections to see if anyone has changed jobs, published new posts, or updated his or her profile. New developments in your network allow you to reconnect and congratulate your connections. A little goodwill can do wonders for your reputation.
3. Post updates.
It should go without saying that you want to keep your LinkedIn profile current. If you get a new job title, switch departments, or attend a useful seminar, let your network know by clicking on the “notify” box. Also share useful information with your network on a consistent basis – such as links to interesting articles or book recommendations. Your participation further improves your visibility.
Note: Don’t be afraid to show a little personality on LinkedIn, but keep it professional. People often use social media as a political platform which is fine if pages are set to private. Do not, however, share political or social views on LinkedIn.
4. Ask for professional recommendations.
What others say about you is often more influential than what you say about yourself. Send personal requests to key people in your network and encourage them to recount certain successes not already discussed in existing recommendations.
5. Join groups.
LinkedIn has a group for every industry. Join at least one group related to your career. Don’t just sit back and watch. Observe conversations already taking place, and when you feel you can add something of value, engage with other members. Your participation can lead to new professional connections – and possibly even a new job.
Bonus Tip: Review Your Digital Footprint
Even if you are not using other social media sites in your job search, it’s wise to revisit all social media pages. Some employers will check your digital footprint during the screening process. Review all social networking sites (including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, or a personal blog) and complete the following:
- Delete anything that you wouldn’t want a potential employer seeing.
- Check privacy settings on all of your social accounts. Set everything to ‘private’ or ‘friends only.’
- Adjust your privacy settings so that you can review all tags before they show up on your profile. (You never know when a friend is going to tag you in a comment or a photo.)
Social media isn’t just for personal use. There are a number of ways you can use it to advance your career. As you update your profile to incorporate the above tips, don’t forget to connect with us on LinkedIn